At the Beginning of this year, i really, really wanted to blog… In fact, I have been wanting to blog for quite a long time. I didn’t know where to start. I had no idea how to even begin blogging other than Facebook posts that sometimes were too much info for many ‘friends’.
Several things happened at once, I was put on Medical Leave for a work related injury in February. In January I got married, and in Mid February I went on my annual pilgrimage to San Jose for PantheaCon… But what really shook my world was a family emergency in March. I live about 10-15 miles away from half my family and 40-70 from the rest. I am known as the responsible one in my family… It may be self given, or something that I was reminded of since the age of 7 when I started translating for mom and grandma at the grocery stores and elementary school. Later on, it was because I memorized a lot of Bible verses and knew the answers of a lot of Sunday school lessons.
As the responsible family member I became the messenger and sometimes caregiver of family members and church kids. I became responsible, which meant, eventually, I would rebel. I did rebel, that’s another story, for another time. for now, lets focus on the family emergency that happened in March.
A family member stopped taking medication and wasn’t taking medication as prescribed. I was called, literally doing absolutely nothing, I drove out to them 45 miles away to assess the situation. it was very difficult, the person in need was a caregiver and they had allowed stress to drive them to illness. I was afraid how much worse it could get. I knew two things had to be done, one was a regular sleep schedule, the other was taking prescribed medication.
I forgot to mention the same week this started happening, I was going to an anniversary thing to get into a special club. I had to go everyday for 7 days straight…..it was located in the city I currently live in.
In family members hometown I stayed and watch them take their meds, made sure they ate, but come bedtime they wouldn’t fall asleep. they would pace, they would sit still and they would talk, sleep was something out of their reach. I saw them decline even more. it got to the point where they needed to be hospitalized, I tried to talk them into going several times…. in the meanwhile I had to stay awake to make sure they slept, I had to walk the dog and I drove about 80-90 miles round trip to get my little club card stamped so i could join the club I couldn’t join the year before.
Not sure if you’ve ever been so stressed you are on auto and can’t remember if you;ve slept or eaten. I couldn’t cry in front of them, I had to call and message close friends to keep my sanity. While all this is happening I still have to go to my own doctors appointment and follow-up with work whether or not I am returning soon.
I made weekly appointments with my therapists, crying or stressing or shoving as much emotion out so that when i was helping family member I would have a brave face. I finally called my husband, convinced family member that hospital was the best bet and said we’d be caregiver to their dependent. That week I drove the dependent to my home after finally checking in sick family member into the hospital and we stayed there for 2 nights and I got my 7 days stamped joining the elite club…..
I wish I could say that the ill family member came out 100% better, but if you deal with pre-existing conditions, you know this is not the case. they came out 6 days later with meds and a doctor’s appointment. I had to make sure they took meds and slept. so I did. I also became the chauffeur, I had to drive them to doctors appointments, therapy appointment, etc, etc. I didn’t mind, I wasnt working…. until I got a call asking why I missed 4 days.
I had gone to an appointment with a doctor telling me that I would not be returning to work the same week I was going round trip and on 2 hours or less of sleep. I knew I should have gotten an email from work telling me so, but i was so preoccupied with making sure everyone else was okay that I forgot to take care of myself and mak sure my work stuff was in order. I even got scolded by a nurse at work for not turning in the paperwork, it broke me, I cried and was angry and just wanted to give up on everything. I was done. this is where self care comes in
I had been so busy with everyone elses problems I forgot to take care of myself, my hair was matted, I( had not showered often and I wasnt eating properly. It wasn’t until much later that i decided to focus on myself. I had a friend come over and brush out my hair, it took over 2 hours. the next day I spent the day with my husband just relaxing and enjoying his company. the following day i went on a pub crawl, and for the first time in years, I drank my own booze and didn’t give it to him, because for the first time in years I believed I deserved to relax.
there are many types of self-care… today I was going to make a doctor’s appointment and go to thee library to write this blog, but all I did was sleep. . . . Until my friend called and asked if I could hang out… if I had said no, I would’ve slept the entire week away.
Sometimes self-care is going to your therapist every week to talk about it. sometimes its going to your mom’s house so you get fed and gas money, sometimes its asking your friend to pick you up because you’re afraid of leaving your house otherwise. sometimes self-care is getting out of bed and drinking some tea, sometimes its taking a shower. sometimes it’s putting on your favorite tv show, or taking a day off from work because you can’t deal with the stress. One minute, one hour, one day, even one second is enough to give a little self-care.
You deserve a little self-care, even if you need someone else to help you get there. every little bit helps.
Peace. Blessed Be